Poorly Timed Confession YKTTW Discussion

Poorly Timed Confession
When a character reveals something at a very inappropriate time.
Needs Examples Description Needs Help Tropeworthy?
(permanent link) added: 2013-03-30 12:55:08 sponsor: unluckykillerchibi edited by: Arivne (last reply: 2015-08-01 06:41:46)

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Examples Please.

One of the side character's learn something important pertaining to the Hero's Quest - but the Hero's too busy saving the world and what not to hear them out. So after what seems like an eternity of Plot Derailment, Side Quests, and other "unimportant" things, the Character decides it's now or never and blurts out what they learned to the hero

Too bad they do it while the Hero's in the middle of a Heroic BSOD.

Behold the Poorly timed Confession - when a character decides to make a startling reveal at a time where they should just keep their mouth shut or do it later. It may be important to the plot, or the character is sick and tired of having their issues pushed aside, but when they do it, it's usually just as the hero emerges from a Trauma Conga Line.

It could happen anytime - right after the Hero suffers a rather painful defeat by the villain of the week; when their Love Interest dies or is kidnapped with him helpless to do anything; While they're busy recovering from a Heroic BSOD; or even just moments after he receives a rather shocking reveal that leaves him questioning his very existence - when the character is suffering from trauma and just feeling plain bad about themselves, it's obviously the perfect time to tell them something that will just add salt to already stinging wounds. It can be a secret the character's wasn't suppose to learn about yet, a Love Confession, or it may be the character confiding in something the Hero (in their current state of mind) finds heart breaking or morally reprehensible. Heck, they might even be revealing they were working for the bad guys all along - just so long as they do it at a bad moment.

The Hero can respond in many ways - they could get upset and take out the stress they're feeling on the confessor, they could be shocked and the confession ends up adding to the drama they're dealing with, or they could try to deal with it and cause a huge misunderstanding and even lead to a Kick the Dog Moment, they may even not react at all or get even more depressed, but it usually ends up making things worse. How it's handled all depends on the writer, and can end up inciting a What the Hell, Hero? from the audience and possibly a few characters for the confessor's insensitivity or the reveal itself. Expect the confessor to feel really guilty later on.

Compare to Accidental Public Confession, Can overlap with Moment Killer. Also see Unwitting Instigator of Doom - where doing so cause major backlash in the story plot

No Real Life Examples please.


  • Played for laughs in the movie Bananas, where a felon rushes into a courtroom to confess his crime, but when he realizes this was the wrong trial, makes a break for it.

  • A plot point in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Just as Sweeney is about to kill Judge Turpin, Anthony bursts in and blurts out the fact that Johanna (the Judge's ward, who he intends to marry and is insanely possessive of) has agreed to elope with him. Cue a massive Oh Crap! moment. Not only does it foil Anthony's own rescue mission, it also robs Sweeney of his chance to revenge himself on the Judge, tipping him into a Heroic BSOD.

Video Games
  • In The Walking Dead Episode 4, Ben finally decides to tell Kenny about his dealings with the bandits which led to the death of Katjaa and Duck while walkers, that were accidentally let in thanks to him, are trying to break in. Kenny becomes furious and tries to attack Ben, but he was held back so he decides to not let him on the boat when they escape. And before escaping the area, Lee has to decide Ben's fate to live or die and Kenny silently encourages Lee to let him die.

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